Amorphis returns for their third outing on the Nuclear Blast label with Skyforger. Continuing where “Silent Waters” left off, this album is also based on the Finnish epic poem Kalevala. However, anyone not familiar with this piece of literature will still be able to enjoy this album. And what an album it is. The band freely incorporates orchestral and wind instruments while blending them with guitar synths. The result is a beautiful creation that encapsulates the core poetic concept. Brilliant showcases of this method can be heard on 'Sky is Mine' and 'Highest Star.'
As the album progresses a pattern begins to emerge. A good number of the filler songs can be seen through the formula of 'A piano intro into lead guitar riffing with a bass heavy verse and the same riff used for the chorus, and then add in a guitar solo, a bit of death metal growling and you have a song. However, this can be forgiven as the music is so dynamic and the riffs so different, no one song sounds like the other.
'Sampo', the first track on Skyforger deserves special mention. The rhythm guitar and bass provide an amazing backdrop to the lead guitar. The bass line is delivered with precision, with support of quick and accurate drumming. Piano and synth effect are again blended here. Only this time, Tomi Joutsen's growling vocals are layered on top to showcase all the best points of this album.
Overall, Skyforger delivers on all fronts. All shortcomings can be forgiven as the band overcomes the bland song structure to make each song unique. It's also very nice to hear a band that can use a combination of singing and death metal screaming. On every song that features screaming, the growls and shrieks fit perfectly into the song structure. Musicians with this kind of ear for creative song writing are hard to come by these days.
Overall, “Skyforger” delivers on all fronts. All shortcomings can be forgiven as the band overcomes the bland song structure to make each song unique. Musicians with this kind of ear for creative song writing are hard to come by these days.